What the other papers say this morning - 26 September 2013

FINANCIAL TIMES

Nokia asked Elop to give back €18m
Nokia’s chairman asked Stephen Elop, the Finnish group’s former chief executive, if he would forgo part or all of his €18.8m pay-off several days ago as the furore over it grew.

People close to Nokia said that as pressure mounted over the weekend from Finnish politicians, including the prime minister, Risto Siilasmaa enquired whether Mr Elop would return some of the money. Nokia said it had no comment on the matter.

BlackBerry falls on Fairfax doubts
BlackBerry shares yesterday fell below the proposed offer price from a consortium tabled by Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial as doubts grew about whether the $4.7bn buyout bid would be completed. The stock dropped by about 6 per cent to just above $8 each, well below the proposed $9-a-share cash offer by the consortium.

Companies to sell long-term debt
A rush of companies selling US benchmark bonds to take advantage of lower interest rates yesterday propelled September to a record month for investment-grade debt issuance. The recent drop in US Treasury yields since the Federal Reserve announced last week that it would not taper its monthly bond buying has provided an opportunity for companies to pull forward their planned debt issuance.

THE TIMES

Sales boosted at House of Fraser
The roll-out of in-house brands at House of Fraser has been credited with boosting sales in the first half of the year. They helped to increase house brand sales by 13 per cent in the 26 weeks to July 27. Like-for-like sales rose 3.3 per cent and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were flat at £7.5m.

Banker fined for insider trading
A German investment banker who leaked insider share tips to his two girlfriends has been ordered to repay nearly £95,000 of ill-gotten gains. Thomas Ammann, 40, was sentenced to 32 months in jail last December for insider trading.

The Daily Telegraph

TalkTalk halves pay-TV service price
TalkTalk has mounted the second stage of its push into pay-TV with a cheaper set-top box. The new package halves the monthly cost of TalkTalk’s internet-based television service and makes it available to the majority of its broadband and phone subscribers.

Sage slides on cloud worries
Shares in the the FTSE 100 group, which supplies small companies with business software, slumped 11.6, or 3.3 per cent, to 335p on concern rival Xero is taking market share from Sage in cloud accounting – services that allow companies to keep their books online.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Citi to Pay Freddie Mac $395m
Citigroup yesterday struck a deal to pay Freddie Mac $395m to settle claims it sold faulty mortgages to the mortgage-finance company, removing another area of contention in Citi’s mortgage business. The agreement covers 3.7m loans sold to Freddie between 2000 and 2012.

Peugeot to delay plant closures
Peugeot Citroën offered to boost French factory production and put off any plant closures until at least 2016, a sweetener in high-stakes labor negotiations aimed at cutting costs in the auto maker’s home market.­­­